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Fall 2021

As summer ends, ACTRI’s clinic and research pharmacy are supporting trials and other clinical research projects at pre-pandemic levels. We continue to add to our team of project managers to cover the expanding ACTRI services and facilities. Today’s message will focus on an accomplishment that highlights the importance of community engagement

UCSD was recently awarded $3 million from the state of California to address adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)such as neglect or growing up in a household with substance abuse, mental health problems, and even food insecurityThe team will be led by ACTRI and the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. Other partners include the Family Health Centers of San Diego, San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, Kitchenistas, Streetwyze, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the San Diego Promotores Coalition.


Reducing toxic stress in children is one of the goals of California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, as it can lead to lifelong health struggles and shortened life expectancy. Our project will focus on San Diego’s Latino population, which is disproportionately affected due to racial inequities. The project will start by incorporating the outstanding work that is already happening within the community. 


The strength of our approach is the combination of community and scientific input from start to finish. Shared decision-making and resources will help identify the organizational and individual sources of ACEs, fine-tune interventions to achieve community-defined success, build trust, and promotclinical endpointsThe project will also continually assess and make improvements so that future implementation can be adjusted to work for every family. The goal is to understand whether pre-determined factors can help us decide the best type of intervention for individual families and children. If successful, the results can be applied broadly in many communities across the country.


ACTRI is uniquely prepared to meet this challenge, with the community engagement, bioinformatics, biobanking, and dissemination and implementation science groups ready to team up with our partners. I want to thank everyone involved for their dedication in securing the funding and getting started on this very important project.


Gary S. Firestein, MD, Director of ACTRI

Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences